So lately I’ve devoted more time to my personal site, and this, combined with the naturally far more important roles of father and husband (not to mention full-time retail sales worker!), has kept me from the Coalition a little more than I’d have liked. Still, I am not abandoning this site, though as ever, I keep the door open to others to contribute if they wish. The ‘mission statement’, as I would call it, is to raise awareness of injustice and inequality, and to oppose it. To that end, let’s start with an old stomping ground.
Not for the first time, we have an issue with organised religion. The specifics relate to what Paul Williams of Blogging Theology has had to say about gender roles and the apparent ‘justice’ to be found through Islam. I have no quarrels with people believing what they want, provided it hurts no one else and does not interfere in other peoples’ lives, but equally, I must raise, as and when I see it, concerns when any organised religion puts forward ideals designed to oppress in some way shape or form. This is not an attack on Muslims, nor for that matter on the followers of any other faith, and I know many good-hearted Muslims, Christians, Jews and followers of other faiths that do their religion credit. This does not mean that religion is free from criticism, and nor should it be. Enshrined into some faiths are some decidedly awkward and divisive concepts, which should not escape challenge.
Part of the problem regarding the specifics of this particular article of Paul’s, is that nor for the first time he has taken a disingenuous position. In his bid to challenge the idea of gender equality (Paul believes firmly in gender roles), he used an example of transgender women beating cis women at sports. Quite why this would invalidate the idea that women can go to work, earn the same as men, be free from sexual exploitation, be free from victim-shaming and body-shaming, and not be forced into having kids if they don’t wish to have any, is beyond me. Paul put forward the idea that men and women are not interchangeable. It’s true that men and women’s bodies are different. This does not mean women are incapable of going to work. This is sadly not the first time that Paul has taken a concept that is only loosely connected to a subject and then twisted the narrative. It’s a form of dishonesty and a worrying pattern of such behaviour has emerged.
The suspicious suicide of a man believed to have a lot of damming knowledge of several prominent US politicians (including Donald Trump) has got a lot of people asking questions. How could a man already on suicide watch (and who had allegedly made a suicide attempt) be left unsupervised, given his profile and the sensitive nature of what he knew? The truth of this will probably never come out, leaving us only with conspiracy theories, and I am not fond of conspiracies, for even the most plausible ones lack serious weight without evidence. The scale of the financial company Epstein ran was vast, including overseas links with connections to the Royal Family here in the UK, and elsewhere. His crimes including paying underage girls to perform sex acts, vile crimes that carried a high punishment. His knowledge and connections to the rich and powerful could have caused a massive shake up of the establishment, so his suicide comes at a strange time. All of it is conjecture and that is frustrating.
Recent shootings in the US have once again brought the gun control debate back to the forefront of US society, and once again old, worn-out arguments have been trotted out as to how the epidemic of gun violence in the US is apparently nothing to do with guns. Violent video games and mental illness have been blamed, but oddly enough, violent games and people with mental illness exist in other parts of the world, and the problem of mass shootings… doesn’t. Could it be that ease of access to deadly weapons is a more logical reason for why the US continues to suffer these tragic events so regularly?
I fear for my country, I really do. The new (un-elected) Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, is forcing Britain toward a no-deal Brexit, regardless of all the evidence and advice that this would be a monumentally stupid idea. Boris is trying to blame the EU for the failure to find a deal, yet he himself is not making much of an effort to find one. No-deal will ruin this country, triggering economic and social turmoil. It simply cannot be allowed to happen, yet time is rapidly running out to stop it. I have not been especially vocal about this on Facebook, but I no longer care if anyone will judge me for being a Remainer. I am proud to be a Remainer, it is what’s best for my country, and I will argue tooth-and-nail for remaining in the EU. That would be the best possible deal for the nation, and I believe reversing course would actually be a huge lift for the economy at this stage.
If you’re a Remainer, as I am, be vocal. Passively accepting the car crash on the horizon will not help anyone. We need to get our voices out there if we are to prevent disaster.